Hey guys! So, like I said last time, I really don't feel like making this story super long like I was planning on doing, so instead, after very thoughtfully planning it out, there is going to be about five more chapters.
Anyway, I'm sorry if that disappointed anyone. I'm really, really sorry. Oh, and for those who are afraid that I'm going to completely butcher the plot, don't worry...I'm not going to :)
Or at least hopefully won't...
Now, for the thing that I'm most sorry about: UPDATING. Yeah, school is literally around the corner and it's time to start updating these stories. I'm going to work on fanfiction every single day, or at least while I can.
And once school starts, my goal is get at least thirty to forty five minutes of FF in a day, depending on my schedule.
Anyway, let's get started.
Chapter Ten: Step Three - Introduce Percabeth
Cindy had just finished dressing into her pajamas when Percy walked inside. They had just finished cleaning up after dinner and Cindy was getting ready to settle down and read a book for about an hour before going to bed. However, just as she started to get in to her bed and start reading, Percy knocked on the door and walked inside. He didn't seem upset, but he did have a small grin on his face.
"Care to explain to me why you decided to help us hire someone to build our house?" He asked, sitting down on the foot of her bed.
Cindy shrugged. "I knew you and Drew were having some problems so I figured I should help."
Percy raised his eyebrows, skeptically. "Uh huh. Thanks for consulting Luke and not us by the way."
"Oh come on! Luke is very reliable!"
Percy chuckled, standing up and heading toward the door. "Sure, sure," he muttered as he walked outside, closing the door behind him.
Cindy, suddenly feeling very accomplished with herself, smiled as Percy shut the door. She had a good feeling in the pit of her stomach that something positive was going to come out of this and suddenly, Cindy didn't feel like reading a book. She set it down on her desk and grabbed a notebook. She opened it to the first blank page and wrote out one word:
"Percabeth?" Luke said, with clear confusion. "What's that? Some kind of new medication for a common cold?"
Cindy smacked Luke in the arm. She intently leaned over his desk and stared at him. "Percabeth!" She shouted, as if it was the most obvious thing in the entire world. "Percy and Annabeth."
Luke groaned in disgust. "Cindy, it's one thing to invite Annabeth over randomly like you did last night but it's completely different to start creating some crazy little pet name for people that are never going to get together. Percy is happily engaged with Drew and Annabeth is happily engaged...in her work. They are at two different places in their lives."
Cindy glowered at Luke, "Moron, Drew is cheating on Percy and you know that!"
Luke grimaced. "I know, I know, but I don't think that trying to force Annabeth and Percy into a relationship is going to do any good. Besides, Percy and Annabeth barely know each other. They just met last night." Luke turned back to his computer so that he could focus on work.
"That's why I came with a plan."
Luke looked up from his computer. "Oh great!" Luke shouted sarcastically. "Another brilliant Cindy Jackson plan? What are you going to do now? Take them to the zoo, push Annabeth into the penguin exhibit and have Percy save her with his swimming talents."
Cindy grinned. "No, but your on the right track."
Luke face palmed, "This cannot end well."
"Come on, Luke! I have the perfect idea to introduce Percabeth."
"Would you stop saying that?! It's make me feel so invasive of personal space!"
"Luke, Percy once told me that you walked in on Percy and his girlfriend in college, and you sat there reading a book for thirty minutes. You are the person that they talk about when it comes to invasion of personal space."
Luke rolled his eyes at the clearly not very fond memory. "There was no sock on the door and it's not like it was an under the clothes experience."
Cindy shuddered, "God, Luke, shut up! Look, all you have to do is talk to Annabeth."
"What am I supposed to say? 'Sorry about that awkward evening. It was an honest mistake?'"
"Something like that, but something else too," Cindy instructed.
Luke raised his eyebrows, a little intrigued and nervous. "What?"
Cindy grinned. She leaned in and whispered her very well thought out plan to Luke.
Annabeth Chase was sitting uncomfortably in her desk chair, fidgeting a little. Apollo was out at a meeting and he had left her with some simple tasks, like taking a few phone calls for him, organizing his schedule for the next week and copying several papers. She had already finished her tasks and Apollo wasn't supposed to be back for another hour, leaving her with nothing to do.
She reorganized her desk several times: alphabetizing the papers in her file folders, color categorizing the stacks of sticky notes in her desk and trying to find more efficient way to display the pictures and papers on her desk. Finally, though, she run out of things to do and so she found herself doodling on a piece of paper. She was drawing a couple of ideas of houses for Percy Jackson.
She thought about last night's awkward dinner as she sketched out an elegant looking porch. Last night must have been one of the most uncomfortable dinners in her life. Sure, Percy and Drew seemed to graciously accept her offer to build a house (for rather cheap, too) but Annabeth could tell that they weren't in the mood to discuss things like that at the time. After dinner, when she was going back to car, Luke had apologized profusely about what happened, but Annabeth reassured him that she wasn't angry.
Upset? Yes. But at him? No. She was a little upset, and, yes, slightly annoyed at Cindy. Cindy had told Annabeth that Luke had accidentally gotten the dates wrong. The meeting wasn't supposed to be today, but indeed yesterday. It turns out that Cindy was just...rebelling, maybe...against Percy and his new fiancee. As Annabeth thought about Cindy's reason to do what she did, Annabeth suddenly rather sympathetic. She understood what it was like to not like your new stepmother.
Annabeth shuddered as she thought of Helen, her stepmother. They weren't exactly best friends.
Annabeth heard footsteps getting louder and she quickly stowed away her sketch of the house and looked up, expecting to see Apollo. She sighed as she realized that it was just Luke.
"Luke you don't have to apologize again," Annabeth said.
Luke smiled at her. "I do feel kind of responsible for what happened."
Annabeth sighed. She put the pencil she was using to draw aside and looked up. "Don't be. It was a mistake, and it surely wasn't your fault. Besides, it did get me my first architectural related job, so I, if anything, should be thanking you."
Luke grinned. He leaned on the edge of her desk. "Look, since I do still feel kind of bad, I was wondering if you wanted to go on a little beach trip with my girlfriend and the Jackson's on Saturday. It would give you a chance to relax and stop worrying about work so much. Plus, you could get to know Percy a little more... And Drew, of course!"
Annabeth hesitated. She looked over at Luke's desk and spotted Cindy flipping through a couple of loose papers on Luke's desk. "Um..."
"Please?" Luke begged.
Annabeth sighed. "Fine. Why not? It'd be nice."
Luke beamed. "Great! I'll call you and tell you details when I know more." He quickly said his goodbyes to his coworker and rushed to his desk where he shared the good news with Cindy, leaving Annabeth looking at the two skeptically.
Was this just another one of Cindy's plots? And if so, what is this little girl plotting for?
On Saturday morning, Cindy had gotten up extra early since she was so excited. It wasn't easy, but she and Luke managed to convince Percy and Drew to go on the beach trip without raising any suspicion. She was all packed and ready to go, practically waiting by the window to see when Luke, Thalia and Annabeth, who were driving together since they lived so close to each other, would arrive.
Percy walked up to her. "You seem excited."
Cindy shrugged, "We haven't gone to Montauk Beach in so long. Not since...well, not since you and Drew started getting serious."
Percy sighed, "Well, hey, now we get to go. Just like a family."
At that moment, Luke's car pulled up. Cindy shuddered and looked up at her older brother. "If Luke was my brother, I think I'd go crazy."
Percy smirked and went to open the door. Just as Luke and Annabeth walked inside, Drew seemed to scurry out of her bedroom and straight to the door. "Oh, hello," Drew said, smiling a little uncomfortably at Annabeth. She turned to look at Luke. "Where's Thalia? I thought you said that she was coming."
Luke shrugged. "Thalia couldn't make it. It's just going to be us."
"Oh," Drew mumbled. "Who's car are we taking?"
"Mine," Luke said, "Since it's bigger."
The rest seemed to agree and they started to put their stuff in the back of Luke's car before filing in. Luke immediately went to the driver's seat, and Percy joined him in shotgun, Cindy and Annabeth in the middle and Drew, reluctantly, went to the sit in the back. For the majority of the car ride, the five spent their time talking about they wanted to do. They figured that they could spend most of the day on Luke's boat, which was the main reason as to why they came out here (A/N I'm actually not sure if you can go boating at Montauk, but for the sake of the story they are). When they did finally arrive at Montauk Beach, they were delighted to see that it was practically deserted, which meant that they had the entire beach to themselves.
The pier where Luke's boat was wasn't too far from where they parked and so they were lucky enough to not have to walk far. By the time that they arrived at the pier, it was around 11:30, and it was fairly nice outside. (A/N By the way, I have no idea what Montauk Beach is like...) The waves seemed relatively calm, calm enough to swim in, and there was a slight breeze. Plus it sunny and kind of hot too. The perfect weather for a nice long day at the beach.
When they reached the boat, Luke quickly took the steering wheel and started to set everything up. Percy and Drew set down the coolers that they had brought while Annabeth and Cindy leaned against the edge of the boat.
"Are you okay?" Cindy asked. "You look a little nervous."
Annabeth shrugged. "I get seasick sometimes."
"Oh relax, Annie," Luke said as he pulled up the rope tying the boat to the pier. "I've been driving since I was fourteen years old. Trust me, this ride will be completely smooth."
Annabeth narrowed her eyes, "Don't call me Annie."
Luke raised his hands in surrender. "Fine, fine, fine. But seriously, don't worry about it and if you do get a little sick, I have some meds."
"I should be fine...," she muttered, but looked at the water a little uneasily.
Just as Luke had said, it was pretty smooth sailing. Annabeth didn't feel too queasy and to be honest, Cindy had fun. She still felt a little sickened by Drew and Percy, who seemed to be trying to recreate that Titanic scene with Leonardo Dicapro and Kate Winslet by the edge of the boat where Kate's character held her arms out and Leonardo wrapped his arms around her waist. Cindy felt a little tempted to push the two in. She knew Percy wouldn't mind it since he loved the water, but Drew...oh man would that piss her off.
After an hour on the water, Percy and Drew decided to take the steering wheel. Annabeth sat at the edge of the boat, drawing a sketch of a house for Percy and Drew, leaving Cindy and Luke to talk.
"So, is the beach trip going the way that you wanted?" Luke asked.
Cindy sighed, "Not exactly." She glowered at Percy and Drew. "Who does she think she is? Just going around and acting as if she's the most innocent person in the whole wide world."
"Cindy, I'm going to be honest with you, I don't think Annabeth sitting on the edge of the boat making a blue print for Percy and Drew's love nest is helping out to much."
Cindy scowled. "I know. I know. What are we going to do?"
"I don't know. Your the master planner! Where's your fantastic Cindy Jackson plan?"
Cindy thought for a moment. She looked back at Percy, then to Annabeth and finally back to Percy. After taking a second to think, the idea suddenly came to her. She whispered something into Luke's ear and his eyes widened.
"No! No! I can't do that!" Luke shouted.
"Oh come on! It's perfect!"
Luke narrowed his eyes. "She'll kill me if I did that!"
"Luke, I promise you that I'll take the blame. Just do it."
Cindy rolled her eyes. "Fine. Then you distract her, take her sketches and I'll do it."
Cindy groaned. "Uh! Your hopeless! Just take the wheel for me and don't forget to jolt the boat."
"Just do it! Everything will be okay!" She gave Luke a semi-hard shove toward the wheel and walked over to Annabeth. Cindy cleared her throat and the blonde, aspiring architecture looked up. Annabeth quickly took off her glasses and set her designs beside her.
"Yeah, Cindy," Annabeth said, smiling, her grey eyes twinkling in the sunlight.
"Hey, Annabeth. Are you working on the house?"
"Nah. I'm just doodling."
"Oh... Are you enjoying the trip?"
Annabeth smiled. "Yeah! It's so much fun! Thanks for inviting me!"
"Well, I did feel kind of bad after what happened before...with dinner." Cindy trailed off, looking down at her feet. She quickly glanced over at the wheel and spotted Luke standing there, nervously.
Annabeth shrugged. "I get it. It was a misunderstanding."
"Good. I mean mistakes happen." Cindy looked over at Luke and gave him the nod. Luke sighed and pressed his hands on the wheel. A couple seconds later the boat lurched forward and Cindy 'accidentally' tripped and pushed Annabeth.
Right into the water.
She fell with a deafening scream. Instantly, Luke steadied the boat, shouting apologies as Percy and Drew ran to the edge of the boat, spotting Annabeth thrashing and kicking in the water. A wave pulled her under, and a couple seconds later, Annabeth returned, gasping for air, seeming a lot more scared than Cindy had expected. Luke ran to the side, giving Cindy a very guilty look.
"Percy, do something!" Cindy shouted.
Percy, who seemed shocked by what had just happened, seemed to snap out of his reverie. "Right!" He tore off his shirt and jumped into the water. He seemed to catch Annabeth quickly and wrapped his arms around her protectively. Luke held out his hand, and with the help of Percy, hoisted Annabeth out of the water. Drew grabbed a towel and Percy briskly wrapped it around Annabeth, who was shivering and...crying...
Luke and Cindy took a step back.
"Wow," Cindy muttered as she watched Annabeth break down in Percy's arms. "She must have been really surprised."
"Uh, Cindy, I think I remember something," Luke muttered. "I was talking to Apollo when Annabeth first arrived and he told me that Annabeth almost drowned when she was younger."
Cindy's eyes widened. She hit Luke in the arm, "And you didn't bother to tell me that?!"
Luke shrugged sheepishly. "I guess I forgot..."
"You idiot!" Cindy muttered. She looked back at Annabeth, who had finally stopped crying, but was still hyperventilating.
"It was a dumbass mistake," Luke whispered. He walked over to Annabeth and Percy. "I'm sorry. I mean the boat...I don't know what happened. I was..."
"It's okay," Annabeth muttered.
"No. It's not," Luke said, and Cindy could hear how sorry Luke was, and to be honest, Cindy had felt just as equally sorry. She never meant for Annabeth to react like this. She didn't know that Annabeth almost died on a boat when she was younger...
Percy helped up Annabeth stand up, "I'll take her downstairs."
"Do you need help?" Drew asked.
"No. It's fine," Percy said, quickly. He kept one arm wrapped around Annabeth's waist and helped her to the lower deck. When they were below deck, Percy helped Annabeth sit down on a small wooden chair by a table. He went over to the fridge and got a glass of water. He set it in front of her. "Do you need anything else?" He asked, sympathetically as he sat down beside her.
Annabeth shook her head.
Percy sat down beside her. "I'm sorry that that happened to you."
"It wasn't your fault, and it wasn't Luke's either. I shouldn't have even come out on a boat. I should have just said no."
"Why? What are you so afraid of?"
Annabeth sighed. She looked up at her Percy, and clenched her fists together. She took a deep breathe, "When I was younger, I used to go to this camp every summer since I was seven years old. It was like my second home. I loved it so much. It was called Camp Half-Blood, where you learned about Greek Mythology. When you first arrived, you got to pick which God was your parent, and I choose Athena. I slept in a cabin with other people that choose Athena. We learned how to sword fight and shoot arrows. It was the best camp in the world.
"When I was fourteen years old, I was out boating with a couple of friends. We were messing around and all of a sudden, the boat just flipped over. My friends got out, but I was trapped underneath. I just remember this burning sensation. I thought my whole body was going to catch fire. I woke up the next morning in a hospital, and my dad refused to let me return to Camp Half-Blood after that. I never went on another boat again."
Percy sighed. "I'm sorry that happened to you."
Annabeth shrugged, "I was more disappointed about never getting to go back to Camp Half-Blood."
Percy grinned, "Gosh, I mean what's better than learning how to stab someone with a sword?"
Annabeth smirked, "Being undefeated."
"Nice!" Percy complimented.
Annabeth blushed. "Thanks...and thanks for jumping in and saving me."
Percy shrugged, "It's not a big deal." He gave Annabeth a lasting and kind smile and for once Annabeth didn't feel like she was invading in Percy's life.
She felt accepted.
Awwwwwww, there's the Percabeth that we've ALL been waiting for. So, the whole 'Annabeth can't swim' thing is a little OOC, but hey, it was for the story and it finally got some Percabeth moments.
Again, sorry for taking so long to update, but I hoped that you guys truly liked this chapter!
Leave me a little review, maybe?
And now, for what we've all been waiting for, THE PREVIEW!
Annabeth let out a huge laugh. "I cannot believe you did something that stupid!"
Percy chuckled. "In my defense, I was in college! Come on, everyone does something crazy and reckless! You should have seen the stuff that Luke did during the weekends! He almost burned down the campus."
Luke rolled his eyes, "You always exaggerate that story! Besides, Annabeth you must have been stuff like this when you grew up."
"Nope! I graduated with honors from an Ivy League school. We Ivy League students don't do stupid things."
Percy smirked, "Whatever, Wise Girl."
Annabeth raised her eyebrows. "Whatever, Seaweed Brain!"
"Hey! My nickname is a compliment! You should not call me Seaweed Brain since that is a reminder of that college thing."
Annabeth smirked. She punched Percy's arm, lightly, "That's exactly why I'm calling you that. To remind of how much of a dork you are."